Bay View Tragedy Commemoration May 7

March 31, 2017

The annual Bay View Tragedy Commemoration will be held Sunday, May 7 at 3pm at the site of the historical marker on the corner of Superior Street and Russell Avenue in Bay View.  This will be the 131st anniversary of the event known as the Bay View Tragedy.

The event commemorates the killing of seven people by Wisconsin state militia May 5, 1886, during a protest march in Bay View near the site of the former iron mill. The marchers were demanding an eight-hour work day at a time when many worked 10 to 14 hours shifts. The incident occurred at a time in U.S. history when there was a national movement of workers seeking shorter workdays and demonstrating their demand with strikes, rallies, and marches.

A reenactment of the event, complete with larger than life-sized puppets, will be staged by actors under a production of Barbara Leigh, longtime director of the Milwaukee Puppet Theatre. There will be musical performances by prominent Milwaukee folksinger Craig Siemsen and additional music by drummer Jaymes Finlayson.

Luz Sosa, vice president of AFT-Wisconsin and a community organizer, will give remarks that link the 1886 event to today’s issues.

This year marks the 31st consecutive year that the anniversary commemoration has been held. The 2017 event is supported by the sponsorship of the Wisconsin Labor History Society, with additional support from the Bay View Historical Society and the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. In recent years, crowds of up to 300 persons have attended.

More info: Ken Germanson, president emeritus of the Wisconsin Labor History Society, or 414-687-6954.

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